The Mouse & the Owl


 By Jenny Gaughan

There was once a little mouse, who was kindly and unassuming. She loved to help others by sharing her own knowledge and wisdom but she couldn’t help feel something was lacking. The little mouse wondered what she needed to do to be better at helping, how could she be kinder, how could she make sure she was saying the rights things to others to help them? What could she do to make a bigger difference to others and their lives? She pondered so much that she decided to visit the wise old Owl who lived in the old oak tree. ‘ excuse me Wise old Owl?’ Said the little mouse… The wise old Owl awoke from her daytime slumber. ‘What can I do to be get better at helping others? How can I be a better listener who always knows the right things to say to help? How can I share my knowledge better so that other will listen and really learn from me?’

The wise old owl thought for a minute ‘Hmm she said, I think all you need to do is find the jewels and let them shine’. At this the owl was so tired, her eyes closed and she went back to her usual daytime nap. Slightly confused, the mouse set about on a treasure hunt…’find the jewels’ she thought. Where do I even start? At this she packed a bag and left the village and off she went on an adventure, imagining the shining emeralds, diamonds, rubies and sapphires she may soon have. Over the next few years, mouse travelled hundreds of miles, visiting many villages, towns & cities along the way. She met so many villagers, many were curious about her treasure hunt and they enjoyed listening to her adventures and stories of her travels. Some villagers were hostile and Mouse had to work a little harder with those villagers, even taming the scariest of creatures helping them to trust her, and over time, the little mouse knew exactly what to do when she wasn’t welcome in a village or was faced with hostility, she studied others, listening hard and watching them carefully, and eventually she found she could break down any barriers she faced and have a warm meal and somewhere to rest while delighting the villagers with her stories and in turn learning about their lands and cultures.

Over the years, news of the little mouse travelled far and wide she was welcomed wherever she went by those eager to learn from her, curious about her knowledge of other lands she had discovered in her hunt for treasure. However, no matter where she went, nobody could really tell her what she was looking for, there were stories about sunken ships, pirate treasure and secret maps but despite her searching, she never found any jewels. Eventually she grew tired of her travels and defeated, decided to go home. Disheartened, she once again visited the wise old Owl. ‘Wise old Owl, she said, I have travelled far and wide over land and sea, I’ve encountered so many dangers and so many delights but I am weary now and need to rest. Please tell me where the jewels are that you speak of?’

The wise old Owl opened her eyes, with a big yawn she wearily started to speak, but the little mouse stopped her speaking in her tracks ‘Oh I’m sorry’, said the little mouse….’should I come back when you’re a little less tired, I can see you’re exhausted, perhaps it’s a bad time to talk?’

With this the wise old Owl spoke, ‘It’s very kind of you to notice that I’m not my best during the day, in fact, I remember being so tired last time we spoke, I didn’t even finish what I was saying about where the jewels were…..and well, you never asked… never mind… I’m so glad you seem to have enjoyed your travels and have learned so much… I guess you never really needed my advice afterall. I can see the jewels are shining brighter than I could have ever imagined’.  With this the Owl went back to her nap.